Diocese of Rome issues severe implementation of Traditionis Custodes: outlaws all sacramental rites except Mass, outlaws Triduum

From Rorate Caeli: The Cardinal Vicar of the diocese of Rome has just released his norms for the implementation of Traditionis Custodes within the diocese. Below is the English translation of the original document.

VICARIATO DI ROMA

Rome, October 7, 2021 [released to the public November 9, 2021]

– To all the priests involved in the pastoral care of the Diocese of Rome

– To all the faithful of the Diocese

Dear All,

The Diocese of Rome, welcoming the provisions of the Apostolic Letter in the form of a motu proprio of the Holy Father Francis Traditionis Custodes of July 16, 2021, intends with this Pastoral Letter to continue the work of “facilitating ecclesial communion for those Catholics who feel bound to some previous liturgical forms” (John Paul II, Litt. Ap. Motu proprio datae Ecclesia Dei, July 2, 1988), already underway in the City for many years.

To this end, it seemed opportune to continue to exercise a lively pastoral charity towards the faithful who “do not exclude the validity and legitimacy of the liturgical reform, the dictates of the Second Vatican Council and the Magisterium of the Supreme Pontiffs” (art. 3 §1, Traditionis Custodes) and who nevertheless wish to participate in the celebration of the Eucharist according to the Missale Romanum of 1962. For the spiritual good of the faithful, it is appropriate to offer precise coordinates for the implementation of the motu proprio.

The motu proprio establishes that the “liturgical books promulgated by the Holy Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, are the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” (art. 1, Traditionis Custodes) and that therefore it is no longer possible to use the Roman Ritual and the other liturgical books of the “ancient rite” for the celebration of sacraments and sacramentals (e.g., the Ritual for the reconciliation of penitents according to the ancient form). The use of the other Ordines, therefore, is currently expressly forbidden and only the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962 remains permitted.

Moreover, all priests—diocesan or religious—who wish to continue to avail themselves of the faculty of celebrating according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 in the territory of the Diocese of Rome must first be authorized in writing by the diocesan Bishop (cf. art. 5, Traditionis Custodes).

All requests concerning the implementation of the motu proprio are to be sent in writing to me, the Cardinal Vicar, who will regulate them through a Commissioner designated by me for the ordinary management of all the fulfilments that fall within the competence of the diocesan Ordinary, especially for the purpose of the correct exercise of the faculties recognized by the P.M. for the faithful who intend to avail themselves of the prerogatives provided for therein. He is endowed with delegated power (cf. can. 131 §1 C.I.C.) and his office is to be kept distinct from that provided for in art. 3 §4 of the P.M., which for the moment will not be activated in the Diocese of Rome, since it is not necessary.

In fact, I confirm the entrusting pro tempore to the Parish Priest of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini of the task of taking care of the dignified celebration of the Eucharistic liturgy, as well as of the ordinary pastoral and spiritual care of these faithful. He will carry out this office animated by a lively pastoral charity and by a sense of ecclesial communion; he will act in close communion and collaboration with the incumbent mentioned above.

In view of the above, I hereby decree that the Director of the Liturgical Office of the Vicariate of Rome shall hold the office of pro tempore Commissioner for the implementation of the motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.

Coming to some necessary specific determinations, I further decree the following:
– all requests specifically related to art. 3 §2 of the motu proprio must explicitly mention the Church or Oratory in which the celebration is intended (except parish churches, cf. art. 3 §2 Traditionis Custodes);

– every day, except the Easter Triduum, the faithful may participate in the celebration of the Eucharist according to the Missale Romanum of 1962 in the parish of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini (cf. art. 3 §5, Traditionis Custodes);

– in the churches of St. Dominic and St. Sixtus, St. Celsus and St. Julian, St. Joseph at Capo le Case and St. Anne at the Lateran, the faithful may participate in the celebration of the Eucharist according to the Missale Romanum of 1962, to be celebrated at a time agreed upon with the Rector of the church and with the person in charge mentioned above, possibly also on Sundays and feast days of obligation (excluding the Easter Triduum);

– the readings will always be proclaimed in Italian, according to the CE.I. 2008 translation (cf. art. 3 §3, Traditionis Custodes).

Trusting in the confident acceptance by all of what I have disposed, I bless you with affection and accompany you with my prayers.

Angelo Card. DE DONATIS

Vicar General of His Holinessfor the Diocese of Rome

Prot. no. 1845/21

Response to the Letter of the Vicariate of Rome by Joseph Shaw:

Another document has come into the public domain, on Rorate Caeli, this time a letter from the Vicar General of Rome, Angelo, Cardinal de Donatis, implementing Traditionis Custodes, sent to the priests of Rome.

Much of it simply confirms the churches in Rome where the Traditional Mass can be celebrated. The strange bit is the third paragraph.

The motu proprio establishes that the “liturgical books promulgated by the Holy Pontiffs Paul VI and John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of the Second Vatican Council, are the sole expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite” (art. 1, Traditionis Custodes) and that therefore it is no longer possible to use the Roman Ritual and the other liturgical books of the “ancient rite” for the celebration of sacraments and sacramentals (e.g., the Ritual for the reconciliation of penitents according to the ancient form). The use of the other Ordines, therefore, is currently expressly forbidden and only the use of the Missale Romanum of 1962 remains permitted.

There is no further explanation or argumentative support for this assertion in the letter.
Traditionis Custodes (TC) Article 1 says just this:

The liturgical books promulgated by Saint Paul VI and Saint John Paul II, in conformity with the decrees of Vatican Council II, are the only expression of the lex orandi of the Roman Rite.

As I have noted before, it is not easy to establish what TC Article 1 means. Nevertheless, I would make four points about its implications: noting that this is my personal view, about which I have not had long to reflect.

1. TC Art. 1 cannot be understood to mean that it is illicit to use the 1962 books as a whole, since the following articles go on to regulate the use of the 1962 Missale Romanum. It says nothing about the Rituale Romanum. To claim that this article “expressly forbids” the use of the older Rituale is therefore very strange.

2. It is even more strange when we consider the canonical principle governing the interpretation of law set out in Canon 18:
Laws which establish a penalty, restrict the free exercise of rights, or contain an exception from the law are subject to strict interpretation.
This means that unless a prohibition is indeed “express”, it should not be inferred. What is not clearly forbidden is permitted. 

3. If it did mean that all liturgical books apart from those published under Popes Paul VI and John Paul II are prohibited, it would include in its prohibition liturgical books published under Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. These include Divine Worship, the Missal of the Ordinariate, which was promulgated by Pope Francis in 2015, which as people have been pointing out, describes itself as “clearly and recognizably an expression of the Roman Rite” (Rubrical Directory, n. 6). It would also include other things like the 2020 Lectionary approved by various English-speaking Bishops’ Conferences, and other things, not to mention the books, including the English translation of 2011, approved under Pope Benedict.

Clearly these are not the target of the Traditionis Custodes. The reason I mention them is that this shows that TC Article 1 has to be read in a more restricted sense than is being proposed by Cardinal de Donatis. If Pope Francis had wanted to say that all other books, or for that matter just some of them, were forbidden, then he would surely have said so.

4. In 2007, as we all know, Pope Benedict XVI made the following assertion in a legally-binding text, Summorum Pontificum Article 1:

It is therefore permitted to celebrate the Sacrifice of the Mass following the typical edition of the Roman Missal, which was promulgated by Blessed John XXIII in 1962 and never abrogated, as an extraordinary form of the Church’s Liturgy. The conditions for the use of this Missal laid down by the previous documents Quattuor Abhinc Annos and Ecclesia Dei are now replaced as follows: …

What this is means is that, as Archbishop Roche expressed it in his letter to Cardinal Nichols, the former Missal is “regulated not suppressed”. That was true under Summorum Pontificum, and it remains true today.

And what is true of the Missal must be true of the Rituale. No further regulation of the Rituale is attempted in Traditionis Custodes. Yes, Traditionis Custodes abrogates whatever conflicts with it (Article 8): but it does not abrogate what does not conflict with it, and this includes the use of the older Rituale.

Father Z’s reaction to the ‘hideous letter’ from the Vicar of Rome

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2 Responses to Diocese of Rome issues severe implementation of Traditionis Custodes: outlaws all sacramental rites except Mass, outlaws Triduum

  1. Crow says:

    This just gets weirder and weirder…It is truly Orwellian.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. johnhenrycn says:

    Shortly before or after I was received into the Holy Catholic Church at Easter Vigil Mass (the week before St John Paul II died) I was blest to find a used copy, in very good shape, of an English edition of the Roman Missal published in 1954 “Containing all the Masses for Sundays and Holy Days of Obligation” and officially approved as evidenced by the imprimatur of Samuel Cardinal Stritch, Archbishop of Chicago, on September 1st, 1953.
    ♫”No, no, They Can’t Take That Away From Me!♫

    Like

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